Bipolar Faith: A Black Woman’s Journey with Depression and Faith by Monica A. Coleman (Book Review)

Bipolar Faith: A Black Woman’s Journey with Depression and Faith by Monica A. Coleman (Book Review)Bipolar Faith: A Black Woman's Journey with Depression and Faith by Monica A. Coleman
Published by: Fortress Press
Pages: 356
Buy It Now (Affiliate Link): Buy on Amazon

Bipolar Faith is both spiritual autobiography and a memoir of mental illness. In this powerful book, Monica A. Coleman shares her life-long dance with trauma, depression, and the threat of death. Coleman offers a rare account of how the modulated highs of bipolar II can lead to professional success, while hiding a depression that even her doctors rarely believed. Only as she was able to face her illness was she able to live faithfully with bipolar. And in the process, she discovered a new and liberating vision of God.


I requested the eARC of Bipolar Faith forever ago and have let it set on my tablet ever since. I kept wanting to read it but kept not reading it. Every time I chose a new book I’d look at it, then think, “Next time…”. I knew it was going to be intense. The subject matter was going to feel very personal. I wasn’t sure if I’d find it uplifting or depressing so I kept putting it off. Eventually I realized that if we are ever going to actually put an end to the mental health stigma we have to read and talk about these things. A few nights ago I forced myself to start reading it and I’m so, so happy that I did.

Coleman is intensely personal and doesn’t hold back from telling her story. While I couldn’t (obviously) relate to her when she was talking about race + depression but I connected very intimately on faith + depression. I appreciated her openess. I needed her vulnerability. It was comforting to see that we’re not alone in these struggles yet my heart ached for her.  

She shares a lot about the various relationships in her life as well. As painful as I’m sure some of it was to share, I appreciated reading her perspective and understanding how each person influenced her. It made me reflect on some of the relationships in my own life and whether or not they are healthy for me. Bipolar Faith is one of those books that I am certain will greatly affect a lot of people. Yet, I doubt the author will never know the half of it.

If you or anyone you love struggles with mental health, I highly recommend this book as a must-read. The insight Coleman offers into the life of someone with depression is powerful. I wish I could do better than calling it a “must-read” but truly, that’s what it is. If you’re a person of faith I believe you’ll strongly relate to her spiritual journey and feelings toward her faith. This could be one of the best memoirs I’ve ever read. Truly.

Bipolar Faith by Monica A Coleman could be one of the best memoirs I've ever read. I hate that I can't come up with something better than "must-read" to describe this book but truly, that's what it is.

Ashley LaMar
Ashley bounces between Atlanta, GA + Charleston, WV with her husband and two small dogs for life and work. If she’s not writing or blogging, she can usually be found cooking, reading, or watching baseball. Follow her on Twitter @ashleyfromfbl

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